SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jude writes a letter of caution to churches whose faith he believed to be in danger. He also writes some very harsh words about people within the church who were leading others away from what Jesus commanded. When people teach lies about God or lead people away from living for him it can ruin lives and put eternities in danger, so it must be addressed.
- In verse 6 Jude mentions "fallen angels" (only referred to elsewhere in the Bible in 2 Peter 2:4). This may be an allusion to the rebellion led by Satan against God (see Isaiah 14:12-15), but it's impossible for us to know for sure what Jude means here.
- The angel Michael is called a “chief prince” and a leader of angels elsewhere in the bible, but only here is he called an archangel. His dispute with Satan over Moses’ body isn’t found anywhere else in the bible. It is written in a book called The Assumption of Moses, which was a Jewish apocalyptic dated around the time of Jesus’ birth. Jude may have referenced it because his readers would have been familiar with that book.
- The stories of Cain‘s selfishness, Balaam’s greed and Korah’s rebellion (all mentioned in verse 11) can be found in Genesis 4, Numbers 22 and Numbers 16.
- Enoch (verse 14) was written about in Genesis 5:18-24, but none of his words are recorded in the Bible. They were, however, found in The Book of Enoch, another Jewish writing that has been dated as being written about 100 years before Jesus. Jude might have referenced this book for the same reason he quoted from The Assumption of Moses.
- Jude encourages his readers to build themselves up in the faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, and remain in God’s love.
- He also tells them to “snatch others from the fire and save them,” which probably means to warn those who were straying from following Jesus.
- Jude ends his letter with an eloquent blessing and prayer.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Our faith and relationship with God is the highest priority in our lives. There will always be things that threaten our faith or pull us away from God. The intensity of Jude's writing should help us to see how important it is for us to keep our faith and relationship with God strong and let nothing get in the way of it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What are some of the threats to your faith? Certain people who have influence in your life? Some ways of thinking that you know are wrong? An apathetic approach to your spiritual life? What is it? And what will you do about it?
- Take a moment and answer those same questions for the people who are closest to you. What threatens the faith of your spouse? Your children? Your friends in your micro group? What can you do to help build up their faith and, if necessary, to snatch them from the fire and save them?